Citroen C3 1.4 8 Valve timing belt failure tensioner failure
The RAC had been to look at this car after the owner reported a non start, they diagnosed snapped cam belt.
RP Services were called out we found the belt intact so tried to turn the engine by hand using a socket and ratchet, this method negates the possibility of damaging valves as you can feel any resistance through the ratchet. We found the crank would turn but it did not drive the belt which means the camshaft was not turning in relation to the crank.
The owner said that she had tried to start the engine for some time before calling the RAC, I explained that these engines are classed as interference type whereby if the timing between crankshaft and camshaft is incorrect there will be a very high risk of valve and/or piston damage.
It was agreed that we would change the timing belt, water pump belt tensioner and serpentine belt, we did this and the vehicle fired into life. There had been no internal damage caused, the owner was very happy and was advised to pick some lottery numbers as the chances of getting away with this type of failure on a Citroen Peugeot TU3 engine are rare indeed.
A couple of points to note the vehicle is 11 years old and it is not known if the timing belt had ever been replaced also the last time the car had been serviced was 4 years previous, when the belt tensioner had been removed it was found to be partially seized, this would have been making a noise for some time and may have been picked up during routine maintenance.